Microsoft has announced partnerships with Box, Egnyte and Dropbox to expand the capabilities of its Office Online productivity software with the three companies' products.
Microsoft will add three new integrations by working more closely with Box. The first is to enable real-time co-authoring with Box for Office Online, which allows multiple users to edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, among others, in the Box app and have all changes automatically saved back to Box.
The second sees improved integration of Box with the Office for iOS suite, allowing files to be saved directly to Box from the productivity apps. The third is integration with Outlook.com so that users can attach files to emails directly from Box.
Microsoft’s work with Egnyte has also enabled integration of Office Online with the cloud storage and file management platform, along with a co-authoring service that works with Egnyte’s hybrid environments of cloud and on-premise services.
The co-authoring feature with Office Online also extends to Dropbox, and includes the ability to share Dropbox files directly with Outlook. Dropbox recently created an app for Windows 10.
All of the companies fall under Microsoft’s Cloud Partner Programme, which Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office, described as a way to enable better cloud service use in Office software across desktop and mobile devices supporting the productivity tools.
"We designed the Cloud Storage Partner Programme to make it easier for people, including Box customers, to work with Office documents no matter where they’re stored,” he said.
"Today we are making major enhancements to better enable our joint customers to work and collaborate fully in the cloud from any device.”
However, the additional capabilities on offer from Box, Dropbox and Egnyte, such as security features, editor comments and advanced sharing features, offer more than OneDrive.
Microsoft’s partner programme looks to work with companies already well established in the cloud storage arena, rather than building a rival product, offering feature rich services compatible with Microsoft software while giving partners access to Office’s huge user base.
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